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The Citadel

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Cairo is the capital of Egypt and, with a total population inexcess of 16 million people, one of the largest cities in both Africaand the Middle East(which regions it conveniently straddles) – it is also the 13th largestcity in the world. Situated on the River Nile, Cairo is famous for itsown history – preserved in the fabulous medieval Islamic city and inOld Cairo – and for the ancient, Pharaonic history of the country itrepresents. No trip to Cairo would be complete, for example, without avisit to the Giza Pyramids, to nearby Saqqara, or to the EgyptianMuseum in the center of town. Though firmly attached to the past, Cairois also home to a vibrant modern society.

Asyou fly into to Cairo, Egypt you will be left speechless as you lookout the window and see the contrast of the setting. Out of one side ofthe plane, you will see the vast arid desert which seems to be neverending; out of the other side is a busy city which looks like a modernday oasis. Travelers from all over the world have been marveling atEgypt ‘s wondrous antiquities for thousands of years. Although theseantiquities still exist today, a visit to Cairo , Egypt is more than animmersion into the past, as it also encompasses many modern dayamenities which anyone will be sure to enjoy.

Just walking around downtown and in the older residential partsinside the wall of the city where craftsmen work on the sidewalksoutside their homes is also a real pleasure. It is easy to meet realCairenes that are eager to discuss anything with you. Some of them tryto lure you into their carpet shops; others are really interested andinteresting to talk with.

If you are hungry, make sure to try the most popular Egyptian dish,Koshray. Koshray is a traditional Egyptian meal that consists of adelectable combination of macaroni, spaghetti, rice, black lentils,chick peas, garlic sauce and a spicy tomato chili sauce, all toppedwith fried onions.

A visit to the pyramids and the Sphinx is a must, since these iconsare landmarks of the country’s fascinating history. Beware, however, ofthe aggressive friendliness of Egyptian camel drivers and policemen,who may try to earn a few Egyptian pounds from you (they call itbahshis, or a tip) for small favors; to avoid this, simply ask anotherfriendly tourist to take your picture, instead of one of the locals.While in the city make sure you visit the museum first before going tosee pyramids, as it will help you appreciate the culture of ancientEgypt even more. It is advised not to make the pyramid visits onFridays, due to mass at noon time 12pm-1pm, during which time thepyramids are closed.

ContributorsFebruary 21, 2007
changeby rfujitani (2 points)August 12, 2006changeby sezgin aytuna (2 points)July 21, 2006changeby maikhan (1 point)May 16, 2006changeby giorgio June 10, 2006changeby dinu

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21 Jan 2007

21 Jan 2007
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog

posted Tuesday April 2007